My name is Paul Hillard, and welcome to the Empathy Surplus Project website. Born in Athens, Ohio, I was raised in Athens and Grand Junction, CO. I am 35 years old, single, and a pilot in Athens.

When I consider the future, the collaborative vision of our mutual grandparents after World War II still resonates with me. That generation called the world and future generations to collaborate for peace. In the UN Charter Preamble in 1945, they wrote in part,

“We the peoples of the United Nations determined… to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedoms… have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims.”

Empathy is the soul of democracy and the foundation of our republic. You have to have empathy to collaborate well. The empathy deficit we currently have in government and our economy was created over the last fifty years by those who reject empathy as a core governing value.

Now, despite a groundswell of empathic voices emerging, we must double down on empathy building in our institutions. It’s all hands on deck. And the human rights to life and freedom are the strategic reasons the world’s people and governments need more empathy.

That’s why I hope you will consider joining me in caring citizen thought leadership education to build the empathy surplus needed in our local spheres of influence.

Yes. I did say ongoing collective education.

I was introduced to the Empathy Surplus Project after house sitting for activist friends in Athens. One evening I found a book by Dr. George Lakoff, on their shelves, entitled Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservative Think. When I shared my thoughts on this book with my brother, a supporter of the Empathy Surplus Project, he suggested I connect with them, which I did. There are no designated teachers. We simply read the works of George Lakoff, discuss them, apply them to our sphere of influence, and discuss them again.

Yes. We do need to be involved in the electoral process.

Yet more importantly, we need to unite behind both cognitive science and linguistics. Now is the time, to know and understand our values and reframe the debate. Dr. Lakoff’s Introduction to his bestselling “Don’t Think of an Elephant” is entitled “Reframing IS Social Change.” If we are going to change the world, we must change our language, and repeat our language, to describe the world we want.

Yes. We have the science that has been used to inhibit empathy in government and our economy.

We know what to do to advance effective government and progressive markets through mutual responsibility. And the most important thing we must do is to talk about what we want, using empathic and socially responsible language, continuously. We can use cognitive science for good. I hope you will consider how you can help.

The first thing you can do is to share your contact information. That gives you access to our closed social network, provided by Facebook’s WORKPLACE. There you will find other like-minded people, who are reading Dr. Lakoff’s work, discussing it with others, and then applying what they are learning to reframe their own sphere of influence.

Join us. Caring citizens are the solution!

Paul Hillard, Board Member, Empathy Surplus Project